Poems by Anna Adams
NOBODIES is Anna Adams’s third Peterloo volume. The unifying factor in these poems is that the emphasis is on people rather than places. Many of these poems record unheard voices (mainly that of the poet’s mother-in-law), draw invisible portraits, and bear witness to minute scraps of history.
‘It is surprising that Anna Adams’s poetry is not better known, for her technique is masterly and her subjects fascinating … Immediacy and intelligence are Adams’s chief virtues … and her keen sense of humour should make her popular among many readers.’ Anne Stevenson
When She was in Her Glory
(extract from The Spoken Poems of Elizabeth Winifred Rose)
We lived in Acton; I was in my glory.
They called it ‘Soapsuds Island’ on account of
there was so many laundries. The next road
to ours we used to call ‘Do-as-you-like Street’.
If we raced down there, on the way to school,
the women sat on doorsteps, wore men’s caps.
Sometimes we didn’t hardly dare to look.
I liked the school, the swimming bath, the lib’ry,
and I was in my glory, but we moved.
My Mum and Dad moved to Burnt Oak.
I didn’t like Burnt Oak; I stopped indoors;
I didn’t want nothing to do with it.
But there was this girl Lily round the corner;
her family was back from India
and they lived in one of them rabbitutches.
She used to come and ask me to go out.
I wouldn’t go. I didn’t like Burnt Oak.
But then the time come round to go to school
and Lily come and said that she would take me.
Then, after school, she took me to her house
all full of ornaments from India.
Outside again, she took me down an alley
and then across a plank across a stream,
and that was the first time I realised
there really was green fields. And after that
I went there often. O the birds was lovely
all in the hedges. I was in my glory.
But nowadays I like nice scenery
but I don’t like the country. When you get
to be fifteen, the country makes you lonely
and you don’t want to walk home in fields.
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover drawings: by Anna Adams
Publication: SPRING 1990 (64 pages laminated paperback)